Ever since the modern MINI debuted earlier this decade, it has always been marketed as a premium small car. Even the least expensive variants were pricier than some comparable subcompacts. This has now changed. MINI UK has just added a new, lower-priced model specifically aimed at first time buyers and those taking advantage of the car scrappage program currently in effect in the United Kingdom.

The new MINI First gets a 75 hp version of the 1.4-liter engine that makes 95 hp in the MINI ONE. While the low-cost edition probably looses some interior features, it retains most of the important functional elements such stability control, automatic start-stop, brake energy regeneration and an up-shift indicator light. The low power engine gives a combined rating of 44.4 mpg (U.S.) and CO2 emissions of 128 g/km. The First is priced from £10,950 compared to £12,345 for the ONE.

[Source: MINI UK, AutoExpress]

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